Monday, February 4, 2013

Frozen Birthday Run Fun!

This past Saturday I dragged my frozen legs 36 miles around the rolling trails of Lake Anna State Park in central VA. The occasion was my annual Birthday Run, on which I run my years in miles to remind me both that:

1) My chosen sport makes me do stupid things, and  
2) February is a horrible time to have a birthday when you're forced to run outside for 5+ hours in sub-freezing weather.

Now that the adventure is over, I'm sarcastically happy to say that 2013's edition succeeded in validating both counts yet again!

This year my actual b-day (Feb 5) falls on a very busy work Tuesday for me, so I took the liberty to run my 36 miles the Saturday before (Feb 2). This was especially convenient for me since the "Icy 8HR" race took place over the weekend, so it was as if 125 others came out to celebrate my birthday run with me too! Notable in that field was my buddy Andy, with whom I planned on running the whole time...and not just because he promised me some homemade pumpkin birthday cupcakes at the finish. In the end, I enjoyed those cupcakes quite a bit, even if Andy made me look bad by running an extra 4.7 mile lap to push his total over 40 for the day. Show off. For me, I very much enjoyed not having to run for the full 8 hours as I sat wrapped in blankets at the timing tent for a couple hours enjoying hot soup and sipping a special birthday gift from Gary Knipling (it was the kind of eggnog they don't let Santa drive the sleigh after drinking!).  All in all, it was my most enjoyable birthday run to date, that's for sure!
Bundled up in the coooooold. I guess it's true old people feel drafts all the time.

The added bonus of stopping at 36 miles was saving my out-of-shape legs from being wrecked this week. I caught a case of the dreaded "too much, too soon" running disease at the start of January and needed to be smart and slooow in ramping up my miles all month while hamstring/foot issues healed. I pretty much stuck to an easy 6 miles most nights all month (while wearing my cushy Hoka shoes to protect the foot), and while that type of light training won't allow me to run a quick marathon in March, my eyes are most definitely on the real prize of giving the Black Hills 100 a solid effort. I'd like to do well in that race, if for no other reason than to see the look on the TSA agents' face when I try to get my "trophy" on the airplane home!
If I fill it with magazines and candy, can it count it as my carry-on?